A case-control study was conducted to investigate whether age, gender, neuter status, type of food, feeding frequency, food intake time, interval between feeding and exercise, duration of exercise and overall physical activity were risk factors for gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) in the great dane. The sample population consisted of 38 great danes with acute GDV (cases) and 71 great danes owned by members of the Dutch Great Dane Association (controls). Information on the risk factors was collected by using clinical data in combination with a questionnaire, and the data were analysed by backward stepwise conditional logistic regression analysis. Dogs fed a diet containing particles of food >30 mm in size (kibble and/or dinner and/or home-prepared food with large pieces of meat) had a lower risk of GDV than dogs fed a diet containing only particles <30 mm in size (kibble or dinner and/or canned meat and/or home-prepared food cut into small pieces or ground in a food processor). Increasing age was also a risk factor for GDV. Gender, neuter status, feeding frequency, food intake time, the interval between feeding and exercise, the duration of exercise, and overall physical activity were not identified as risk factors. Feeding a diet including large pieces of meat may help to reduce the incidence of GDV in great danes.
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